Ulka Sasaki To Face Kleber Koike At February 23rd RIZIN ‘TRIGGER’ Event

Ulka Sasaki walks to the RIZIN ring.
Ulka Sasaki will meet Kleber Koike at RIZIN’s first event of 2022 (RIZIN FF)

Former UFC fighter Ulka Sasaki will return to action next month, facing Kleber Koike as part of RIZIN’s second “TRIGGER” event. The featherweight bout is set to headline a card that will take place on February 23rd from the Ecopa Arena in Fukuroi, Shizuoka, Japan.

Koike has been an unstoppable force since joining RIZIN, picking up three wins since late 2020. The Bonzai Jiu-Jitsu talent secured his last victory in June, applying a second-round triangle choke submission against Mikuru Asakura.

Sasaki lost to a fellow UFC alum in his last outing, dropping a unanimous decision in September to Yoshinori Horie. The fight was his third loss in his past five fights, and was his first RIZIN appearance up at featherweight.

Sasaki’s last win was on New Year’s Eve 2020 when he beat Kenta Takizawa on scorecards. The fight was his return to competition after suffering a broken jaw in 2019.

Three Fights In Total Set For ‘TRIGGER’

Two other fights were confirmed for RIZIN’s “TRIGGER” event on Friday.

Kazuma Kuramoto will return to action on the card when facing Kenji Kato at bantamweight.

Kuramoto lost in the opening round of the RIZIN Bantamweight Grand Prix last year, fighting in a tough battle against Alan Yamaniha that resulted in a decision loss. Before then, Kuramoto scored a first-round win against Taiyo Nakahara for a win in his RIZIN debut.

Kato, a Shooto Japan veteran, will be returning for his fourth RIZIN fight. He has won two of his previous three appearances. His last fight was in November when he beat pro debutant Katsuya Fujiwara.

Both fighting for their first RIZIN win, Suguru Nii and Sora Yamamoto will fight on the card.

Nii lost his RIZIN debut in October, getting submitted within a round by veteran Daisuke Nakamura.

Yamamoto’s prior RIZIN appearance was a decision loss to Chihiro Suzuki at the promotion’s “TRIGGER” card in November. That loss snapped a five-fight winning streak of his.

Full Lineup

Bout 3: Kleber Koike (28-5-1) vs. Ulka Sasaki (23-9-2) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 2: Suguru Nii (12-11) vs. Sora Yamamoto (12-6-2) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Bout 1: Kenji Kato (13-7) vs. Kazuma Kuramoto (8-2) (134 lbs) (MMA Bout)

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